Macron demanding annual payments from UK to tackle small boats crisis

Suella Braverman announces new Illegal Migration Bill

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Emmanual Macron is demanding annual payments from Britain in order to tackle the small boats crisis. The French President will demand further payments from the UK – on top of existing funding – to finance the policing of French beaches near Calais and Dunkirk. The UK has paid France at least £232million in one-off payments since 2014, the latest of which was in November when Braverman agreed to a £62million deal with her French counterpart to increase patrols by 40 percent.

Speaking ahead of the Anglo-French summit taking place this weekend, an Elysée source told the Times: “We’re trying to agree with our British counterparts a multi-annual financing framework that would allow us to better plan our actions and increase our human resources, equipment and infrastructure.”

Another French official defended France’s response to the issue so far, saying: “We already have a lot of boots on the ground. Being effective in our response necessitates much more than more police on the beaches of Pas-de-Calais.”

Last year, 45,728 migrants arrived in the UK on small boats, up from 299 in 2018, during which time Britain paid France more than £193million.

The Prime Minister is under mounting pressure from Tory MPs who have questioned the value for money of previous deals with France.

Tim Loughton, Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, accused the Government of failing to get value for money.

He said: “The British taxpayer has generously subsidised the French police for several years now over which time we have seen a substantial increase in the numbers successfully evading their measures.

“The real issue is that the French police will not arrest those migrants they intercept on the beaches so they are back again the following night with a new boat to try again. They only have to get lucky once.

“Similarly they will not intercept the boats in the water and return the passengers to French beaches or allow our Border Force to land them at Calais rather than Dover.

“This would genuinely kill off the vile and dangerous trade at source and we should not be transferring more funds to France until they are prepared to discuss these preventative measures.”

Former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith echoed this, asking: “Are we subsidising them for something they should be doing anyway themselves?

“I don’t mind if we get value for money on it. The problem is I haven’t seen any evidence of value for money.”

He added: “Are they using drones, which they should be doing?

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“They keep saying you can’t patrol every beach. But a drone with night vision can.

“How much are they using our money to invest in that sort of technology?”

Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North told the Times: “I’m not surprised to hear the French are demanding more of the hardworking British taxpayers’ money yet again to do their job for them.

“The French should be willing to stump up their own cash to prevent people travelling through France up to their northern coastline to try and illegally enter the UK.”

Yesterday, the Home Secretary introduced new legislation to stop the small boats crisis once and for all by deporting tens of thousands of people entering the UK illegally.

The new legislation will stop asylum, modern slavery, and human rights laws being used by migrants who have breached Britain’s borders.

In her statement to the Commons, Ms Braverman warned that “patience has run out” adding that the “law-abiding patriotic majority have said enough is enough”.

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